Then the heads of fathers' households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites arose, even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.Ezra 1:5(NASB)
When He... was pleased to reveal His Son to me... I did not immediately consult with anyone. (Galatians 1:15,16 ESV)
I do not know what the apostles might have said if Paul had gone to see them, but seeing that they had not had the revelation that he had had and they had not the call that he had (theirs was not an apostleship to the Gentiles), they might have counseled moderation and cautiousness. They might have told Paul to consider whether he had been deceived or misled, because nothing like this had happened before....
Now, while fellowship is always a good thing, and experience should always be used as far as available, when it is a matter of the Lord speaking to our hearts and making it perfectly clear what His way is for us, we must be very careful that we do not submit to influences that would in any way limit our response and interfere with our obedience. There must be a detachment from all rule that would injure a heavenly revelation. If others are really under the government of the Spirit they will help, but we must be careful that consultation with flesh is not made in the presence of a heavenly vision. We may consult with tradition and ask what the common acceptance is. Common acceptance will hold you back. The Lord is against mere freelancers in every way, His order is fellowship in the Body; nevertheless if we submit to any kind of natural influence concerning what the Lord has been saying to us, and take counsel or get our direction from governing elements of man or things, we shall come under arrest and probably be disobedient to the heavenly vision. We know of lives that have been marred in this way. If there is fellowship in the things of the Lord, let us use it, but let us be quite sure that we do not take things outside and submit them to those influences which are not in the Light, not in the Life, and not in the good of heavenly things, and take our direction from something less than that which is wholly under the government of the Holy Spirit.
The law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? § By Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Inasmuch . . . as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren.
There is none righteous, no, not one… There is none who does good, no, not one. § There is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin. § How can he be pure who is born of a woman?
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me… Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
The Lord… has put away your sin; you shall not die. § Whom He justified, these He also glorified. § We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. § If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel.
Walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1).
We never question how He works, once we know Him for who He is. When I gain the treasure of knowing Him, I can well afford to trust Him.
"The heart that is captivated by an object could never be at rest until it was with the one who had won it; for satisfaction you must be where He is. Love really does not think of anyone but its Object until it is quite sure of its place with Him, and then when at rest about itself it studies the mind and heart of the Object.
"I find that Christ loved me, and gave Himself for me when I was in a most unattractive state; but He makes me suitable to Himself, and I am so assured of the permanency of His love and of my association with Him that my heart is free to study Him. The more I am in His company, the more I acquire the tastes and characteristics which answer to His mind."
"There is an amazing effect of beholding the Lord's glory. You may be transformed from some old taste without even feeling it; but you are transformed! and you cannot tell how. It is not the process that occupies you, but you are engrossed with the Lord. We are united to the glorified Lord where He is at home, and, blessed by God, that is our home, our life is there." -J.B.S.
"Your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3).
“Death hath no more dominion over Him … in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God.” Romans 6:9-11
Co-Eternal Life. Eternal life was the life which Jesus Christ exhibited on the human plane, and it is the same life, not a copy of it, which is manifested in our mortal flesh when we are born of God. Eternal life is not a gift from God, eternal life is the gift of God. The energy and the power which was manifested in Jesus will be manifested in us by the sheer sovereign grace of God when once we have made the moral decision about sin.
"Ye shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost" - not power as a gift from the Holy Ghost; the power is the Holy Ghost, not something which He imparts. The life that was in Jesus is made ours by means of The Cross when once we make the decision to be identified with Him. If it is difficult to get right with God, it is because we will not decide definitely about sin. Immediately we do decide, the full life of God comes in. Jesus came to give us endless supplies of life: "that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Eternal Life has nothing to do with Time, it is the life which Jesus lived when He was down here. The only source of Life is the Lord Jesus Christ.
The weakest saint can experience the power of the Deity of the Son of God if once he is willing to "let go." Any strand of our own energy will blur the life of Jesus. We have to keep letting go, and slowly and surely the great full life of God will invade us in every part, and men will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus.
That we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes – but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him Who is the Head, even Christ.
I believed in Jesus as a child, but don’t remember the day I trusted Him as saviour. At times I wished I’d had the earth shattering salvation “experience” of many saints. But however a sinner becomes a saint, it is the start of an eternal union with Christ. It is an everlasting ticket into the presence of God in the power of the Spirit – the first step on a lifetime journey of spiritual growth.
Peter exhorts us to grow in grace and: as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby, 1 Peter 2:2 while Paul reminds us to: speak the truth in love, so we may grow up into Him in all things. Ephesians 4:5 God wants us to become spiritually mature: so grow in grace, and grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18.
The reason to grow, is because we have been commanded to grow. The responsibility to grow, is incumbent on each believer. The rate of growth, is always very slow. It takes a lifetime to grow.. and growth can be both joyful and painful. Spiritual growth is either a forward or a backwards growth, but there is no standing still.
Sadly many new believers are left to ‘grow’ without good discipleship or sound teaching. Others are pushed into leadership positions, while still babes in Christ. Most have to fend for themselves, which is both irresponsible and unscriptural, and the inevitable result is a belief system founded on man-made doctrine, rather than the God’s Word.
Such a biased belief system, often produces false perceptions of Godread more
Rejoice in the Lord and again I say, rejoice
Paul was a man who loved his Saviour and a man whose service to his Lord is one that we hold up as an example of a great man of faith – a man of God that we ourselves would seek to emulate, and yet his comparatively short life in the ministry was one that was engulfed by an overabundance of problems and difficulties – a ministry that was packed from start to finish with unbelievable severities and significant hardships.
One would have thought that this apostle of God, whom the Lord had specifically selected to be the His chosen instrument to the gentles, would have been a man held in high esteem by his contemporaries. One would have expected that a recipient of heavenly revelations from God.. one who was entrusted with mysteries of the Church, that were hidden before the world was founded.. one would become such a prolific contributor of the New Testament scriptures, would have been awarded a position of respect and honour in the early church.
And yet we discover that the apostle Paul was hounded by those who sought to destroy his ministry and discredit His reputation. Time and again he was beaten with rods by his Jewish brothers and faced many false accusations, imprisonments, beatings and banishments. He was in peril on the sea and faced great risks on land. He was hounded by his own people and faced danger from those he sought to help. He was stoned and shipwrecked. He was rejected and robbed.
He was deserted by friends and imprisoned by enemies. He worked hard and long hours to support himself.. enduring many sleepless nights. He faced hunger and thirst and often went without food. He shivered with cold, having insufficient clothing to keep him warm – and yet He discovered that in all things God’s grace is made perfect in his weakness.
While his enemy sought to do their worst, Paulread more